Saturday, April 23, 2011


It's Holy Week and lots of new things to see and try. Easter here is much more of a religious holiday than it is in the US. No tradition of pagan fertility-rite bunnies or eggs.

There is a soup here that one eats during Holy Week. It's called Fanesca. It has lots and lots of different ingredients including beans, lentils, corn, cabbage, potatoes, dried fish, sometimes chicken, squash (several kinds), etc. The list goes on and on. There are many different recipes for Fanesca as well. Each family has their own special recipe it seems. Also, Fanescas around the country highlight the particular foods of the area where they are served. For example, Fanesca on the coast boasts many more kinds of seafood than in the highlands where a dried, salted fish is the seafood included.

Anyway, we ventured out to one of the finest restaurants here in Cuenca, Villa Rosa, to try Fanesca. It was delicious. We had a long chat with one of the proprietors, Patricia, about the different Fanescas and the traditions for Fanesca. Patricia's sister has written a lovely book about Fanescas around the country which includes some recipes. Patricia kindly let us peruse the book while we were having our Fanesca.

Along with the Fanesca, we had Chamales. These are a sweet cornbread/mush steamed in corn leaves. Delicious! We dug in before we thought to take a picture, so sorry, this one is half eaten.

On Good Friday, we went downtown to see the early procession of the faithful carrying the statuary of Jesus through the streets.  There was a fairly large crowd of people walking with the procession.  Every now and then, it would stop while a priest spoke through a loud speaker.  The crowd would then respond in unison.  Then the procession would move a little further on and then stop and the priest would speak again.  Kind of a mass on the move.  A few pictures of the procession.

Fortunately, the sun was out for a little while in the morning, so this procession did not get rained on. After having lunch downtown, we managed to get into the apartment just before the afternoon rain deluge began.

1 comment:

  1. Super cool, D & G. Send me a recipe for the soup if you have one. Julie